IFFCO: Cell Phone Messages with Farmer Advice

Posted by CorinneRamey on Nov 06, 2009
IFFCO: Cell Phone Messages with Farmer Advice data sheet 7832 Views

Chandra Shekar, a farmer who grows crops such as tomatoes and carrots and raises cows and other animals, lives in a remote village in Kolar, India in the state of Karnataka. For the past year, he's received daily voice messages with advice which have helped him to keep his sheep healthy, control diseases that threaten his crops and know what medicines to feed his animals. He has also had access to a helpline that allows him to ask questions to experts, while standing in the field of his farm, next to his animals. "Messages on animal husbandry are serving like daily doctor to me," Shekar said. "When cow was suffering from bloating, it was effectively controlled by making cow to drink groundnut oil which was given in the message."

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The project aims to provide rural Indian farmers with access to crop and veterinary information and empower them through technology.

Brief description of the project: 

IFFCO, a fertilizer cooperative in India, provides cooperative members with voice messages that give advice on agricultural topics.  The project currently has over 1 million subscribers, who receive updates five days a week.

Target audience: 

The program targets farmers, especially those in rural areas who  access to other information.

Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

The voice messages are in local languages, so they are accessible even to illiterate farmers or those who don't speak English.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

IFFCO has worked to adjust the content to better fit what the farmers need.  Feedback from farmers included more messages on animal husbandry, more messages on non-chemical fertilizers, and more messages during morning and evening hours.